One. More. Game.
That’s all it’s going to take for the Williamsville North Field Hockey team to bring home the 2018 NYSPHSAA Field Hockey State Championship.
Earlier today, the team knocked off Sachem East 2-1 in overtime of their semifinal game of the NYSPHSAA Field Hockey State Championship Tournament.
Entering the season as a heavy favorite within Section VI and a possible contender at the State level, the Lady Spartans have been everything they hoped to be, putting together a 19-1 record on the year; including wins over rival Clarence in the Section VI Championship Game, Section V’s Fairport and Sachem East from Long Island.
Sachem East proved to be their toughest competition to date, seemingly being the only team thus far who could consistently maintain the upper hand for extended periods of time.
The Lady Spartans epitomized the bend-but-don’t-break mentality today as they broke free for a goal from Jordan Cooper (assisted by Molly Martin) to close out the first half and carry a 1-0 lead into the break.
Sachem East controlled much of the second half but was only able to score the equalizer and force OT.
When Williamsville North huddled up during the intermission.. one of the all-time top jock jams came across the PA..
“Pump Up the Jam is the song that I always play when it’s my turn to DJ for the team. I’m all about the jock jams. It became a team joke and ‘coaches song’ – it was the first song that played during the OT intermission,” said Head Coach Jessica Rys. “The girls looked at me and said ‘destiny.’”
“I told them to leave it on the field. Play your hardest and believe in yourselves. I didn’t have to say that though, they knew and believed already. They are enough!”
A few minutes into overtime, the Lady Spartans’ Jenna Piotrowski streaked towards the sideline; just as she was rounding the corner she was tripped up.
Erin Roland stepped in and fed the ball 30 yards to twin sister Emma for a breakaway where she too was tripped up, leading to a penalty stroke opportunity for North.
Erin Roland got the nod from her coaches and stepped up to the line.
When Roland realized the goalie was cheating to the left, she promptly sniped the top right corner of the cage to give her team the 2-1 win in OT.
“I don’t know what to say – this is so exciting. The last time we went to States we lost in our semifinal game so to be able to advance is just everything,” said Erin. “I just knew I had to finish. We have a lot of seniors this year so this is their last chance.. and to be able to have that chance is exciting for everyone.”
The only team left standing in between Williamsville North and their preseason goal is Maine-Endwell, who knocked off Mamaroneck 2-1 earlier this morning.
Maine-Endwell enters the game with a 19-0 record.
For anybody who isn’t able to make it to the game, we’ll have a live stream going on NFHS for their 10am Championship Game.
Follow @WNYAthletics for the link tomorrow morning.